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* Posts by Martin

744 posts • joined 17 Jan 2008

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Consumers start feeling the love as Chromebook sales surge

Martin
Thumb Down

Re: Can we have figures that mean something?

"...not a cutdown and limited inferior product like Chrome."

Says someone who has clearly never used a Chromebook.

I think we can safely assume that Windows running on a similarly-spec'd box as a Chromebook will not boot within ten seconds from scratch. It might just crawl up to speed within a minute.

It will also require regular updates (which will take minutes at a time) to keep it secure, as opposed to regular automated Chromebook updates which taken literally seconds to run. Oh - and you'll have to run an anti-virus check on it all the time, which will make it run even more slowly.

It will barely be able to run Microsoft Office, and will not be able to run most games. Which is basically the same as a Chromebook.

So what was that about cutdown and limited?

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Doctor Who and the Dalek: 10-year-old tests BBC programming game

Martin

Re: hold on...

You don't learn to read by starting with D H Lawrence.

You don't learn to write with calligraphy pens.

You don't learn art by starting with oil paints.

You don't learn physics by starting with quantum mechanics.

You don't learn French by starting with Flaubert.

You shouldn't learn to program by starting with C or C#.

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Martin
FAIL

Re: hold on...

But by your argument, we should only teach kids Excel and Word for office use, as that's what they're going to need. But that's completely wrong. We should teach kids how to use SOFTWARE - so they can use Microsoft Office 2007 or Office 2010 or Libre Office or Google Docs and not be phased because it's not exactly the same.

Similarly - we should teach kids to program - not teach them a specific programming language. Scratch, Pascal, Python - doesn't matter. Hell, I learned to program with Algol and switched soon after to Basic and then Fortran. And my first actual job was in Assembler. It's the principles of basic algorithms you're trying to teach ten-year-olds - not the details of object inheritance, polymorphism and operator overload.

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1

Is living with Dolby Atmos worth the faff?

Martin
Happy

A perfect example of Betteridge's Law of Headlines.

That is all.

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Martin
Happy

Re: Pure H2O versus Flavoured drinks

When it rains I look outside...

I remember playing Atom Heart Mother on a pretty crap stereo system in the early seventies, with very ordinary speakers wall mounted either side of my bedroom window. There's a bit near the start when a motorbike starts up and goes from one side to the other and off into the distance. A friend of mine who was a motorbike enthusiast, and who hadn't heard the album before, ran to the window to look outside to see if he could spot the bike going past.

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It's a TAB-tastrophe – 83 million fewer units to ship in 2014

Martin

I have a tablet...

...and a Chromebook sitting on the table at home. I always pick up the Chromebook rather than the tablet - instant on, has a keyboard and is just easier to use.

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Revenge smut bullies who send 'grossly offensive' messages WILL be prosecuted

Martin

Because, at a guess, I'd say it's likely that 99% of all "revenge porn" is perpetrated by men against their female ex-partners. It is certainly true that 100% of all the instances I have ever heard of were perpetrated by men against their female ex-partners.

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Chap runs Windows 95 on Android Wear

Martin
WTF?

Re: nice

Posts like this one give me a severe case of old curmudgeon.

Honestly - is it SO hard to write in standard English? Is it necessary to miss out occasional words and punctuation? Do you have to use "teh"?

Sigh.

Kids these days, I dunno, standards slipping...(wanders off disgruntled to the pub...)

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DVLA website GOES TITSUP on day paper car tax discs retire

Martin
WTF?

A little common sense is called for...

So, from this month, you have to do your road tax by computer rather than join the queue at the post office.

You've been sent a reminder about two weeks ago. You can log on and do it any time between getting the reminder and the end of the month.

It's going to be a new system - there are likely to be teething problems, and there are also likely to be more people on it.

So why, for the love of Mike, would you leave it until the last possible day?

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5

WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?

Martin

Re: Mirror

"It wasn't HIS actions, but that of the Mirror's that caused the problems, and the only reason we are all discussing this today."

We're discussing it today because of the Mirror. But I'd give you 5/4 on that if it hadn't actually been a sting, we would be discussing it in six months time when it all went pear-shaped and the papers got hold of it.

He was incomprehensibly stupid. The Mirror has just exposed his stupidity earlier than otherwise might have happened.

Risk your marriage, your relationship with your kids, and your career for an affair - yes, it's happened over and over again. There isn't a married man (or woman) in the world who can't understand how it might happen. Risk it all because you took a photo of your wang...stupid, stupid, STUPID.

That's really my main point. I don't understand how he can be defended.

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Martin

Re: Mirror

"...this peccadillo would never have happened but for the actions of the Mirror."

For the avoidance of doubt, I don't agree with what the Mirror did. And I'm very sorry indeed for his wife, and - particularly - for his kids.

But let's get one thing clear. No one made him take his tackle out of his pyjamas and wave it at a camera. He could - and should - have simply said no. Even if it hadn't been the Daily Mirror entrapping him, it's a fair bet that the photos would eventually have appeared on the internet.

He was totally and completely stupid. And it was HIS actions that have caused the grief his wife and kids are going through now.

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9

Inateck BP2001 Bluetooth speaker: The metalhead sysadmin's choice? Not exactly

Martin
Happy

Re: Help!

"You should be playing cymbals music and then listen how it sounds..."

So, for a hi-hat solo (as I once saw performed by Max Roach), it might be a bit naff - but for most normal music it'll be pretty OK, right?

Look - ff we were talking about a box that costs over a ton, your argument might hold some weight. But this thing is fifty quid.

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CURSE YOU, 'streaming' music services! I want a bloody CD

Martin
FAIL

Re: have an upvote

"...being a fan of "real" music (ie with very very few exceptions nothing after 1900 - no not a typo 1900)..."

Sibelius

Rachmaninov

Stravinsky

Shostakovich

Prokofiev

Strauss R

Neilsen

Janacek

Debussy

Mahler

Bartok

Copeland

Ravel

Holst

What a lot of wonderful music you are missing out on - and that's only a selection from the first half of the twentieth century, and completely ignores jazz, rock and pop music.

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Weekend reads: Douglas Adams' bio in The Frood, The Bone Clocks and Harry Partch, Hobo Composer

Martin
Thumb Up

The Bone Clocks and David Mitchell

The Bone Clocks was long-listed for the Booker Prize - perhaps the fantasy bits were a bit too off-the-wall for the judges, as they didn't short list it, to my disappointment.

However, Cloud Atlas was short-listed, and I thoroughly recommend it. I think it's better than The Bone Clocks. What is interesting about David Mitchell is the way that hist books intertwine - not just within themselves, but with each other. Just one example - Marinus in The Bone Clocks also turns up in The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet.

Which is a complicated way of saying - yes - read the rest of his books - they are wonderful !

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Apple iPhone 6: Looking good, slim. AW... your battery died

Martin

Re: Excellent Review, Despite Clickbait

having no interest in upgrading my aging Nexus 5...

If your Nexus 5 is aging, I guess that makes my Nexus 4 antiquated. But I don't need to upgrade it either. Certainly not for six hundred notes.

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Apple: Beats Music is safe with us. Just like your selfies in iCloud

Martin

Re: Beats or no Beats

But you wouldn't want to listen to classical music through Beats headphones either.

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Sonos burns its Bridges: Our home-grown Wi-Fi mesh will do

Martin
Headmaster

Re: Slimp3

Work's?

But I'll forgive you this time, as a fellow Squeezebox user. Just don't understand Sonos - it seems very expensive for what it is.

I wonder how many Sonos users also have iPhones?

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Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD

Martin
FAIL

Re: Thought everuone new

I was pretty sure that was the hedgehog.

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Martin

Why did the film-mad chicken cross the road?

To see Gregory Peck.

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Chromebooks to break out of US schools: Netbook 2.0 comeback not just for children

Martin
WTF?

Re: There do seem to be a lot of Chromebook haters on here...

...the incompetent people who grace the hallowed halls of Wal-Mart and Best Buy will sell anything to the uneducated who are really looking for a laptop that can run real software, not an "app"!

If you know you want to run real software, you already know you don't want a Chromebook, and so the incompetents will not be able to sell you one.

If you're the "uneducated" mentioned above, you probably don't want to run real software - you'll be happy with an "app". You probably don't know (or care) what the difference is. And it's very likely that a Chromebook will work well.

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Martin
Happy

There do seem to be a lot of Chromebook haters on here...

...and I don't really understand why.

For what 99% of users want, they are perfect. No worries about backup (it's up on the cloud, so you don't lose it), no worries about remembering to update (as it happens automatically).

The more recent ones allow you do quite a lot locally, even when you're not connected to the internet. And more and more, not being connected to the internet is becoming the exception, not the rule.

Yes, they can't run Office. But how many normal users need Office? Yes, they're not much good for gaming (though there ARE some good games) - but then, niether is a cheap Windows machine.

I use mine all the time. My daughter uses hers all the time. And if all you want to do is surf the net, look at YouTube, write a few basic documents, and dash off a few mails, I can't think why you'd need anything else.

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Cor blimey: Virgin Media pipes 152Mb fibre to 100,000 East Londoners

Martin
Unhappy

152M? HA!

I'm on a 120M connection with VM. I get not far from 120M at 8:00 am on a Sunday morning, here in NW London. But at 8:00 in the evening, due to contention, I get 20M if I'm lucky - as every other house in the street also has Virgin Media.

So if I'm increased to 152M, I reckon I might sneak up to 25M...whoo-hoo!

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NASA boffin: RIDDLE of odd BULGE FOUND on MOON is SOLVED

Martin
WTF?

Re: Why send a man to do a robot's job?

So we should abandon the science labs in Antarctica, because they are only political statements, and because robots can do the job so much better?

If we really want science labs to explore the moon properly, they need to be on the moon, and staffed with people (and, yes, robots).

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Martin
Unhappy

Of course, had we not abandoned the Apollo project...

...we would have, by now, had a permanent scientific colony up there, which would have been able to analyse this sort of thing much more accurately and effectively.

Sigh.

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Too rich for an iPhone 6? How about a gold-plated Brikk?

Martin
Happy

Re: Really...

They also plan to offer gold-plated Galaxy and HTC products...

But I bet that over 90% of the gold-plated phones they sell are Apple.

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Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON

Martin

Re: Sigh

Not forgetting, please, the Command Module pilots:-

Michael Collins

Richard F Gordon

Stewart A Roosa

Alfred M Worden

Thomas K. Mattingly

Ronald E Evans

They didn't walk on the moon, but they went with those who did. And they are too easily forgotten.

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Use Tor or 'extremist' Tails Linux? Congrats, you're on an NSA list

Martin
Happy

Re: Well done El Reg

...and the bevy of California girls.

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For one night only – Ibsen classic gets the Dolby Atmos treatment

Martin
Happy

Did you see that? no? well it was awesome, really it was! sorry you missed it!

Well, I personally am very grateful to the Register for bringing it to my attention.

I went with my sixteen-year-old daughter to see this last night. We both agreed it really was an exceptional performance - I have rarely, if ever, walked away from a film feeling like that.

But yes - it's a bit of a minority interest, and that's a damn shame. The assumption is that as it's Ibsen, and theatre, it must be highbrow rubbish. Actually, it's a marvellous play, brilliantly acted, and very accessible.

I am quite sure that the people who did it are exceptionally proud of it - and so they should be. Lesley Manville, Jack Lowden won Olivier Awards for their performances, and the director Richard Eyre won the Evening Standard award for Best Director.

It was awesome, really it was. Sorry you missed it.

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Who needs a ride-on mower when a ROBOT will cut your grass

Martin
WTF?

Never mind the tip....

What does it do with the grass cuttings in general?

I have a small Bosch mower which is all I need for my two mini-lawns. But I have to empty the grass-cutting box at least once half-way through cutting. So what does this thing do?

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9 Dark Social Truths That Will Totally Blow Your Bowels!

Martin

Marginally NSFW?

I think the third picture means that this should have been labelled as marginally NSFW.

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Luxembourg patent troll suing world+dog

Martin
Headmaster

Re: How the hell

...businesses would bring pressure to BEAR...

But you've had an upvote for the sentiments.

0
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Yet another reason to skip commercials: Microsoft ad TURNS ON your Xbox One

Martin
WTF?

You're talking about picture in picture?

So you can watch a TV show in a smaller picture while you're playing a game in the main screen?

Blimey, if the game is so easy that you can watch TV at the same time, then what's the point of it?

Come to that, if the TV program is so uninteresting that you want to play a game while watching it, why bother to have it on?

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Mobe-orists, beware: Stroking while driving could land you a £4k fine

Martin
FAIL

Re: GOOD

If you are driving close enough to someone to see them doing that, you're driving FAR too close to them at 70mph...

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13

Toshiba's CB30-102 13.3in Chromebook – imagine a tablet with a keyboard

Martin

Re: Sadly

The silly ram and HD limitations almost always simply make it a no go.

Hard disk - it's got an SSD so that it starts quickly, and if you want a bigger one, it's a LOT more expensive. What do you need large amounts of disk for? And once they get the promised local connection to a shared disk on the home LAN, there will be even less reason to need a large disk.

RAM - it's got 2GB. 4GB would be better, but again would cost more. People who use it with 2GB are saying that it zips along perfectly fine. What do you get with 4GB that you can't do with 2GB? Open forty tabs instead of twenty?

Like the poster above said - how about trying one, rather than just looking at it?

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About to make a big bet? Don't crash out, cash in with the power of maths

Martin
Unhappy

I'm a bit puzzled....

I was taught at school that the expected result of the drunkard's walk is sqrt(n) - that is, after n paces you'll be sqrt(n) paces away from your starting point.

But that monte carlo simulation seems to indicate that the distance is actually something like 0.9sqrt(n).

So what's going on here?

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eBay slammed for daft post-hack password swap advice

Martin
FAIL

Re: password scoring software

Therefore, telling Google your password - why not?

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You know all those resources we're about to run out of? No, we aren't

Martin

Re: I would argue the situation was even worse

I can't even be arsed to vote.

Just supporting everyone else. If you don't like any of them, vote "none of the above" - ie spoil your paper. It's still better than not voting. If you don't vote, you have no right to complain about the result.

I think it would be interesting to have a "none of the above" selection on elections - I think it would win an overall majority frequently. And if enough elections went that way, perhaps politicians would start actually doing some good.

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Facebook wants to LISTEN IN on the songs and vids playing in YOUR living room

Martin
WTF?

I'm getting old....

If I'm listening to music, or watching TV, I don't find it necessary to tell anyone else what I'm doing. I don't, frankly, understand why anyone else would be interested.

Just one more reason not to have Facebook.

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More chance you came a cropper on a UK road than bought a Chromebook this year

Martin

Re: Quite Like It

...and, come to think of it, the Sammy would probably handle 99% of what she uses that for, at 20% of the price.

Which is the point that most people seem to miss. For what 99% of people do, 99% of the time, the Chromebook is perfect.

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Martin
FAIL

Re: Or the alternative opinion

Get her a full blown laptop with productivity software. Chromebooks and tablets are appliances.

Getting them locked down computers and tablets is seriously ruining their education.

If by "her" you mean my wife - she needs an appliance, not a full blown laptop.

If by "her" you mean my daughter - she uses her Chromebook for her homework (essays, investigating the net et al) and uses her desktop Mint machine for more interesting stuff.

Happy now?

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Martin
Happy

Or the alternative opinion

Excellent little machines for basic email and web access, which is all most people want. I have one, my sixteen year old daughter has one, and my wife will be getting one (with a touch screen - she likes touch screens) when her current PC dies.

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Indian climate boffins: Himalayan glaciers are NOT MELTING

Martin
Happy

Ah, that's better!

I've been wondering what had happened to El Reg. There have been two or three recent articles which have simply reported climate change stories without any obvious bias. But this is back to normal - publishing an article which clearly indicates that global warning is nothing to worry about, and a sideswipe or two at the IPCC. What a relief.

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Teardowns confirm $1,500 Google Glass hardware is DIRT CHEAP

Martin

To be fair...

...specs are ALWAYS overpriced - particularly in this country. Those of you who don't have to wear glasses would be appalled at what we short-sighted people have to pay out.

What you pay for a pair of glasses (particularly the frames) does not come close to reflecting the actual cost of the materials.

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HP's Whitman rues 'biggest failure' at eBay Japan

Martin
FAIL

Re: how to turn hp around

"If you want smaller printer drivers switch OS to Linux, most drivers there are an incredible 0kb due to not being written. You won't be able to print anything mind."

If you're going to slag off Linux (even as a joke), at least pick on something it doesn't do well. HP printers are brilliantly supported by Linux - just run "hp-setup" and follow the instructions. It'll find your printer, set it up and print perfectly to it, whether it's a direct connection, a network printer or even a wireless one.

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It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer

Martin
Happy

Re: Anyone heard from a server admin anywhere yet?

Score points for LastPass here.

If you run their "security tester" which checks your passwords for duplicates and strength, they also give you a list of the people you are connected to who may be vulnerable, and what to do.

"What to do" was basically "WAIT" if the company had the vulnerability, but hadn't patched; "Change your password now" as the company had finished patching; and "You are now OK" once you'd changed your password.

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Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray

Martin
WTF?

And another thing...

This was alluded to in the article - but the original albums were mixed in a certain way, which we're all used to from the original LPs. These new mixes just sound odd. I bought a copy of Argus (Wishbone Ash) when it first came out on CD; I then bought a new "remastered" version. OK, arguably, the sound was clearer. Actually, it was probably just at a higher level which meant less dynamic range - and the mix was a complete mess. Awful.

So when I play that album, if I'm feeling choosy, I go back to the vinyl; otherwise, I play the original CD which I'm fairly sure was just a direct transfer from the final master of the vinyl - and frankly, as a result, is closer in sound to the original vinyl that anything else. And I think it's a crying shame that more CDs of classic albums are not simple direct transfers from the final master of the vinyl.

And yet another thing - who the hell WANTS to listen to Bennie and the Jets in 5.1 audio? Why would I want to hear music coming from behind me?

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No, Minister. You CAN'T de-Kindle your eBooks!

Martin
Happy

Re: Funny thing is...

I have heard it said that once you set it up correctly, it's no fuss at all - it works transparently.

I heard of a particular problem that someone had where they tried to buy a book from Google Play in ePub format, only to find that the book had somehow mislaid all the apostrophes and quote marks. So the person bought the book on Kindle (whose version of the book was fine), downloaded it to his PC, drag'n'dropped it into Calibre, uploaded it to his ePub reader and it was fine. (And he got his money back from Google Play, too.)

I, of course, know no more details about how he did it, and I have no comment on the legality of it.

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Ancient telly, check. Sonos sound system, check. OMG WOAH

Martin
Headmaster

Re: Why wouldn't I spend on a Magnepan setup instead?

"...you can literally see the sound as it envelops a room."

Really? That must look strange.

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Martin

If cheapskate audiophiles want to go for wireless streaming, they should go for the old Squeezebox stuff, which is still reasonably easily available second hand. And if they are rich audiophiles, then the Squeezebox Transporter goes for over five hundred quid second hand on eBay.

It's a damn shame that Logitech stopped selling the Squeezeboxen.

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Martin

Or even....

...from the same shop, a stereo amp, two small bookshelf speakers, take the sound output from the 2 phonos on the back of the telly and it'll STILL sound massively better than the TV. Add a cheap CD player and you've got a good hi-fi in the front room - add a Squeezebox classic second hand and you can stream all you like. (And the second hand squeezebox will be the most expensive item you buy).

Seventeen hundred quid? Seriously?

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